18 September 2013

Last updated 19:00 BST.

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NEWS: Range Rover hybrids in Uzbekistan – Putin’s new new limo – Italy fuel cut – Norway winter tyres – Finland speed laws – Brussels long tunnel spruce.

Channel delays: Brittany Ferries 1h45 late Portsmouth-Santander this evening. Also, Santander-Plymouth delayed by bad weather.

Weather alerts: Amber alert for high winds/heavy rain southern Germany and west Austria.

Weather: unsettled north and west, dry and sunny across the south apart s.Italy.

Traffic: see @DE_Traffic from 09:30 BST.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

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The Range Rover Hybrid Silk Trail expedition is by now deep into Central Asia.

The Range Rover Hybrid Silk Trail expedition is by now deep into Central Asia. Having already crossed Kazakhstan – on their 10,000 mile journey from Birmingham to Mumbai – the cars are pictured here in the shadows of the ancient city walls of Khiva. Established more than 2,500 years ago, now a World Heritage Site – and former staging post on the Silk Trail – Khiva lies close to the Turkmenistan border in south central Uzbekistan. All we can say is that in our next life we hope to come back as a Range Rover development engineer. Follow @LandRover to find out what happens next.

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Italy. Major retailer Eni has reduced its recommended retail price for petrol by 1c, confirming at least the downward trend for the country’s very expensive fuel (£1.52 unleaded 95 and £1.42 diesel in the latest AA fuel price report). Norway. The Public Roads Administration (www.vegvesen.no) says it’s already time for winter tyres after a truck skidded off r55 on Monday in snowy conditions. Finland. A quick run down of the important traffic regulations from What’s Up Finland. Mainly says watch out for the (nice) police, that speed limits drop by 20kmh in the winter and that speeding fins are proportional to income. Brussels. The 2.5km Leopold II tunnel, the longest in Belgium, will be renovated in 2016. Since it’s the major north-west south-east route through the city centre it will inevitably cause major disruption. No word yet on how long it will take but it will be financed by shadow toll. A private company will do the work and then be paid an annual management fee by the city council.

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NUMI - the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engine Institute - a state-owned corporation in existence since 1918 - has been tasked by prime minister Dmitri Medvedev

NUMI – the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engine Institute – a state-owned corporation in existence since 1918, has been tasked by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev with designing President Putin’s official limo according to the Moscow Times. Speculative designs, above, have been floating around on the internet for a few years but this is the first concrete step we are aware of to finally replace the iconic cold war Zil limousines. Medvedev is on a mission to make the Russian car industry more internationally competitive. The idea is that the basis of the new car can be used for a new range of vehicles to be sold in Russia and abroad. See www.numi.ru for more.

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